“For she did not know that I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold...Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time and My new wine in its season, and will take back My wool and My linen.” Hosea 2:8-9
What do you have to be thankful for today? I find at times when I sit down to pray that I often just gravitate to the list of requests that I have for myself and my family and the lists that others give me who I pray for each day. But, more often than not, as I start to see those prayers start piling up on my journal page I realize how greedy my heart is as I go about asking for all these things from God even before I give thanks for what I already have - those things which were given to me by the God from whom I am still asking for more from anew that day.
Our human hearts desire to be satisfied and more times than not we are wrongfully led when we follow our instinctual ways to keep gathering and hording for ourselves to fill those empty and unresolved places. God has a better way for us to learn to be satisfied, and that is to give thanks. When we replace our requests with words of thanksgiving, we take our minds off of what we don't have and we place our minds on what we do have – the good gifts of God.
I love what 1 Timothy 4 says about how everything that is put before us can be received with thanksgiving:
Do you see what this means? Whatever situation, whatever material thing, whatever relational difficulty/triumph – they are all good because they are from God. And in our willingness to accept these things from God as His word instructs us and prayerfully consider all that each precious gift from Him entails, it is then we are able to accept the gift with thanksgiving and not be refused from future gifts the Lord would like to bring into our lives. How we view our life circumstances, material possessions or lack thereof, or even our relational situations does not matter when it comes to our need to give God thanks for them. We just need to give thanks and trust in His goodness and allow His goodness given to become part of the life we accept from Him.
Living with a truly thankful heart has nothing to do with finding a way to love what the Lord has given to us from His goodness. Rather, living thankfully has everything to do with trusting God's goodness and loving Him and accepting His gifts as new and wonderful additions to the life He has chosen to give us.
Are there things in your life that you have not yet thanked God for? Could it be that you do not trust in God's goodness as you look at your life and wonder how God can call the things in it good? Sometimes it is very hard to give thanks when we do not see the reasoning or feel the emotions that would evoke thanksgiving. But, know that God will not continue to bless (with the easy and the difficult) if we chose to be picky about what we give thanks to Him for.
Rather, chose to say with me today: Thanks be to God who is the giver of all good things and who loves me enough to give me everything He already has and more than I shall ever need!